“The anarchists are crazy, but better than the fascists.”
Elle, a young Australian woman, unexpectedly inherits an olive farm in Italy when her Aunt Sofia, who she didn’t know existed, dies.
She flies to Italy to sell the property. On her arrival she realises that there are tenants, Carlo and Giulia, living on the farm and that selling it is not going to be as quick or easy as she thought. There is also Vittorio, the family solicitor who ultimately would like the property for himself. And although the neighbours are colourful, and the food is divine, as she tucks into her tagliatelle, she finds herself at the table with the ghosts of a barbarous past. Set in southern Italy, during the winter olive harvest, The Poor Kitchen explores the personal, the political and the pasta!
As Elle interacts with the ecologically minded Carlo who is managing the olive farm she also tries to connect with his wife Giulia who refuses to engage. And as tensions escalate, the play shifts back in time to the same kitchen in the 1960s where Elle's aunt and grand father engage in an age old feud.
Back in the present Vittorio's attempts to block the sale of the property become more sinister and Elle discovers that Carlo has hidden his true identity from her.
By the end of the play Elle's journey has not just been to the other side of the world, she has had to re-asses her own identity and make peace with her family's tragic past. A journey that helps her to decide what she must do with her inheritance.
- 80 minutes
- 3 female, 2 male
- Actors playing the main characters also double to play roles in scenes set in the past.
- Australian Script Centre